Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Islands in the Stream

First recorded (as a demo) by The Bee Gees (1983).
Hit version by Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers (US #1/C&W #1/UK #7/CAN #1/AUS #1/NZ #2 1983).
Sampled (as “Ghetto Supastar”) by Pras (1998).

From the wiki: “‘Islands in the Stream’ is a song written by the Bee Gees whose title is named after the Ernest Hemingway novel. The Gibbs originally wrote the song for Marvin Gaye in an R&B style, changing it later for the Kenny Rogers album, Eyes That See in the Dark.

“Kenny Rogers told the story on Good Morning America that he initially hated ‘Islands in the Stream’. Producer and co-writer Barry Gibb said, after four days of Kenny trying to add something in the studio to make it exciting, ‘We need Dolly Parton to make this thing pop.’ Ken Kragen, Kenny’s manager, had just come back from the grocery store and said he bumped in to Dolly, he went back and got her. The moment she sang her part of the song, Kenny said ‘Now, I like the song.'”

Robin Gibb, interviewed re: “Islands in the Stream”:

Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton, “Islands in the Stream” (1983):

Pras feat. Mya & Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Ghetto Supastar” (1998):

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